I never was an athlete. I mean, not even a little bit. High school gym class required a mile run in a certain amount of time. I had perfected a jog-esque shuffle, which was really just walking with a bit of arm pumping while yapping with friends as I rounded the track.
I joined the softball team at school in 1988 and went to my first practice. It was drizzling and coach insisted we run the bases to warm up.
Me: "But it's raining Coach."
Coach: "Yeah, and?"
Me: "OK." (packs up and leaves, never to return)
Running in the rain? What manner of medieval torture is that? After an inglorious end to my inglorious career in high school sports, I found that band, chorus and drama club were more my speed (no pun intended). Freaks and geeks were my comfort zone and I loved it.
HOBOKEN, NJ (Late 1990's)
My dear friend from high school had moved to Hoboken to start a job in the Big Apple with a division of Nickelodeon. She was living the dream life - her own apartment in a cool little town just outside NYC. I went up to visit overnight a few times while she lived there.
One time, I went up in March to see her. We went out to dinner and to see The Full Monty. What's the point of this? Well, this is the last time I remember running before this past week. You see, as I sat up in her little apartment the day after our night on the town, I heard the familiar refrain of a Mr. Softee truck in the distance.
Could it be? Mr. Softee? His first foray into the streets this year for sure. It was only March. Like an incredibly slow bolt of lightning, I flew in a pathetic run down the steps, out the door, down the stoop and onto a side street, chasing the metal box of dairy delights like a woman possessed.
Chocolate/vanilla twist with chocolate jimmies. That was the fruit of my huffy puffy labor. It was also the last time I ran anyplace.
APRIL 2010: Couch to 5K? What's that? A training program that will make you a runner (at least of a 5K) in 10 weeks? Mmmmm. I'm sedentary, so that might be for me. I mean, they mention a couch in the title right? I'M GOING TO DO THAT.
Yeah right. Late spring 2010 - PREGNANT! After 16 months of trying, our 3rd and final child was on his way! Praise the Lord, what a blessing. Running on the back burner, like all my big ideas.
C25K resurfaces in my mind. This time I'm going to do it. Really - not just talk about it and "like" the C25K page on Facebook.
I downloaded (for free) some Podrunner tracks (tracks of music timed to train for C25K and signal the switches from walking to jogging). You can find them here for free.
I searched high and low in my house for my iPod, which had been forgotten in an unused purse and unearthed like the Sutton Hoo treasures. It's amazing how you can find what was lost when you get in the mood to do so.
For the first time in a while, I laced up my $90 Saucony sneakers for the purpose of exercise. They've only seen a little action in the 2 years I've had them. They look cool though - very sporty. With my long-lost iPod and the sheer will to stop being a slug, I set out.
The electronica-type music was nice because there are no lyrics and the cadence helps you fall into step. I walked, I jogged, I huffed, I puffed. At the end of 26 minutes, I arrived home - successful. I didn't walk when I should have run. I didn't sit down or stop for a Boost during the session. I just DID IT. Ah - a change for me.
Since then, I have done session 2 of week 1 and plan on doing session 3 today. Truth be told, I am actually looking forward to today's session and may sneak a 4th in this week - JUST FOR KICKS. Really! Me, the sluggard, becoming an Exercise Maven? I know, you can't be a maven after doing something twice but I would like to be a maven.
As I train and learn to be fit, if I hear Mr. Softee, I will simply run the other way this time.